Greetings from Purdue EEE!

We have many exciting things to report as we advance through the fall semester. First, we have begun celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Purdue University. The theme of the sesquicentennial is Giant Leaps, and it will culminate with the 2019 Homecoming. One of the themes of this year-long celebration is “Sustainable Economy & Planet,” and Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) is playing a major role within this theme.

Within a span of just a few short years, EEE has grown into one of the largest environmental engineering programs in the country. EEE now has 138 undergraduates (our first undergraduates ‘walked’ in 2013) and 46 graduate students (the first cohort of graduate students began in fall 2016). And, EEE is unique in that it synergistically embraces both industrial sustainability and classic environmental engineering in our teaching and research programs.

EEE is proud of its 16 faculty members that provide connections to seven different academic departments. These individuals are inspiring students in the classroom and undertaking impactful research. I am pleased to report that John Howarter and Andrew Whelton were both promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure effective at the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. I am also happy to announce that the Purdue Trustees have approved named professorships for Chad Jafvert (Lyles Family Professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering) and Ernest Blatchley (Lee A. Rieth Professor in Environmental Engineering).

EEE continues to innovate in terms of sustainability engineering education. We offer a combined degree program, where a student can obtain a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in EEE in only five years. This option is popular with EEE students and students from the partnering departments. We have joined with others in the College to support a joint MBA and MS in Engineering program. We will soon be launching a professional Masters degree in EEE.

The EEE faculty continue to make ground-breaking impacts in terms of research.

  • Prof. Fu Zhao and his colleagues recently received a large grant to support value recovery of critical materials from end of life products, in support of a circular economy (from the Critical Material Institute – a DOE Energy Innovation Hub). Dr. Zhao is also leading the planning of an NSF industry/university cooperative research center (IUCRC) focused on industrial energy efficiency.
  • EEE is also a key partner in the nearly $40 million Lilly Endowment WHIN project focused on smart agriculture and smart manufacturing.
  • Prof. Chad Jafvert is a key faculty member in the recently established multi-million dollar Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Energy, Water, and the Environment.
  • Prof. Andrew Whelton is leading a $2 million multi-University EPA grant focused on predicting drinking water safety in building residential and commercial plumbing.
  • Prof. Roshi Nateghi has been awarded three NSF projects (one as PI and two as a Co-PI) to address resilience challenges of the U.S. critical infrastructure systems impacted by extreme weather and climate events.
  • Prof. Shweta Singh has received funding from NSF to establish a process modeling approach to create Physical Input-Output Tables (PIOTs).

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and have learned about the many exciting initiatives underway within Purdue EEE. Please check out our latest undergraduate program promotional video that follows a EEE student, and truly captures the essence of our students’ passion for the environment.


Hail Purdue!

John W. Sutherland

Professor and Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering